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SF Pet Chicken Meetup Group Message Board › Fleas and bird mites

Fleas and bird mites

A former member
Post #: 4
My chickens have been biting themselves more than I have seen before. I think they may have some sort of parasite. What is a good way to get rid of bird mites or fleas? Can I use Advantage like on a dog or cat?

A former member
Post #: 11
hi Matt,

I don't think I'd use a chemical like Advantage--don't know what the dose would be, and it would certainly end up in their eggs! Chickens don't get fleas--they most likely have mites or lice. I would use diatomaceous earth as a preventative. It's a fine powder composed of the exosketetons of diatoms (tiny, shelled sea creatures). The dust is very sharp, and kills pests by scratching them. You can dust the hens and their coop and nest box--also be sure to clean the coop regularly if you think you have mites.

You need to be careful--I've always worn a mask and gloves when dusting the coop--though there are some sites that advise human ingestion of DE (don't think I'd do that!) I've used DE in my garden for years to combat slugs, snails and other unwanted critters.

Anyone else have experience to share? I know there are other chemicals used in commercial operations, but I'm trying to be an organic gal.
user 9163133
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 26
Yes! My 3 had lice about 2 months ago. DE is great as a preventative. I was neglectful and that's how we got them. I put DE with sand in a box for dust bathing. That way they get it regularly.

But if they already HAVE them, like mine, it was suggested I use Poultry Dust. Mine were pretty bad and I didn't want to mess around with alternatives, so I got some at Bernal Beast. Lots of ways to administer it. Check Youtube. But I just put on some old overalls, put each on my lap and dusted them using my hands. I did wear a mask and gloves, though. The lice were gone in two days, BUT you have to administer again after 7 days. It doesn't get rid of the eggs, so you can make sure you get them after 7 days. Worked perfectly for me and no problem since.
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